Knowledge on corporate crime still lags behind its far‐reaching economic significance. In order to learn more about the motives of corporate criminals, qualitative psychological interviews were conducted with convicted offenders to identify the critical motives behind the crimes. In a quantitative analysis the offender profiles were then systematically compared and validated with the help of court records from public prosecutors' offices in Germany. The purpose of this paper is to gain insights into the complex interaction of emotional, motivational and cognitive processes leading up to the crime in order to draw possible conclusions for how best to prevent and combat white‐collar crime.
In order to learn more about the motives of corporate criminals, thirteen qualitative psychological interviews were conducted with convicted delinquents in various penitentiaries. The focus was on fraud, embezzlement, breach of trust and corruption. In addition, the court files of 60 corporate criminals from 11 German public prosecutors' offices were analysed systematically in order to evaluate pivotal motives and propitious conditions for criminal behaviour along with characteristic personality traits of the perpetrators.
Five different criminal psychological profiles were identified that enable a better understanding of the motives behind white‐collar crime. The key point is to gain insight into the complex interaction of emotional, motivational and cognitive processes that lead to a criminal act in order to derive possible consequences for preventing and combating white‐collar crime. The results of the study reveal extremely disparate delinquent types that demand a mix of preventive measures and an adequate compliance management framework.
The results of the study reveal extremely disparate delinquent types that demand a mix of preventive measures and an adequate compliance management framework.
Cleff, T., Naderer, G. and Volkert, J. (2013), "Motives behind white‐collar crime: results of a quantitative and qualitative study in Germany", Society and Business Review, Vol. 8 No. 2, pp. 145-159. https://doi.org/10.1108/SBR-10-2012-0042Download as .RIS
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